Not to belabour the point

Editorial comment focuses on annual tribute workers' gains

One of the top weekends of the year for taking it easy is coming up, and the reason so many of us have the chance to relax is the organized labour movement early in the last century.

It is a tribute to the brave people who made a stand for better treatment that Labour Day now exists.

Recent statistics indicate that, these days, union membership among the Canadian workforce is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 22 per cent. The percentage of organized workers has dropped and some would question whether unions have outlived their usefulness.

If everything is going well between workers and their employers… if people are happy with their paycheques and working conditions then union representation may seem unnecessary.

In some cases, however, those same cheerful conditions may have a direct link to struggles in the past, when folks battled for a better situation in the workplace: things like a 40-hour week, overtime pay, etc.

It doesn’t take a lot of research to find out how tough things used to be.

So nowadays it’s good to remember how we got to where we are, and give a respectful thought to the men and women who dug in their heels way back when, insisting enough exploitation was enough.